When the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office announced its departure from Live PD in March, it left a Tampa Bay-shaped void in the enormously popular A&E docuseries’ programming. But it turns out that the region’s residents didn’t have to wait long to see familiar terrain in a similar context: The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that it’ll be part of a new Live PD spinoff.
The agency will start showing up on Live PD: Wanted later this year, according to a news release; though it didn’t specify when, the release includes a statement from Sheriff Al Nienhuis encouraging viewers to tune in Thursday night and Dec. 26.
“I think you’ll enjoy seeing a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes when we go after a fugitive,” Nienhuis said. “I think you’ll be impressed.”
Like the original show, Live PD: Wanted will send camera crews out on the job with law enforcement agencies, according to the news release and A&E’s website. But it appears that it’ll lean heavily on audience interaction: The host, former America’s Most Wanted correspondent Tom Morris Jr., and analysts will “break down the cases and activate the Live PD Nation to solve them.” The show will focus on fugitives and will rely on the public “for tips to track down suspects on the run from the law.”
Live PD, which premiered in 2016, has proven hugely successful: It has frequently been the top-rated cable show on Friday and Saturday nights, and earlier this week, Bloomberg Businessweek deemed it “TV’s best bet to compete with streaming.”
But there’s also been controversy. Last year, the AP reported, several local governments opted not to renew their Live PD contracts after officials came to believe the show cast a negative light on their communities. Two commissioners in Pasco County had the same worries earlier this year, though a survey later showed that most tourists who visited the county hadn’t heard of the show.